When a check engine light comes on, many people assume that it's going to be a huge ordeal and that something is seriously wrong. Most of this is just based on the fact that the check engine light is linked to a lot of different problems. It could come on for a major issue or because you just need some Honda parts to replace things that have been broken or lost. It's important for all drivers to know why their check engines lights can come on. Below are five of the most common reasons.
1. A loose gas cap.
This one is huge. If the gas cap is missing, it's very dangerous, both to the driver and other cars on the road. For this reason, it's connected to the check engine light to get people to pay attention. If the cap is gone, the light will come on. The problem is that it also comes on if the cap is merely loose. Always check this first.
2. The oxygen sensor is wearing out.
Your car has an oxygen sensor set up in the exhaust system. It checks for oxygen levels at that point, thus directing the car on how much fuel to burn. If the sensor wears out, you simply have to replace it. Failing to do so could make your car eat up more fuel, so putting it off could cost you more than replacing it in the long run.
3. The catalytic converter is wearing out.
Similarly, the catalytic converter may just need to be replaced if you've had your car for a number of years. Without this, you could end up failing an emissions test. This is because the catalytic converter is responsible for taking some of the carbon monoxide that your car produces - a greenhouse gas - and turning it into carbon dioxide instead. These are used on modern cars in an effort to protect the environment.
4. Your spark plugs are dirty.
All spark plugs get dirty over time, coated with grime and oil. If it gets too bad, they cannot effectively produce a spark, and your engine may not catch. If you suspect that this is the problem, there are machines that you can use to clean your existing spark plugs. They are not very expensive, though, so plugs that are quite dirty should just be replaced.
5. A dirty air filter.
The air filter in your engine is important, and not just for keeping the air clean. If it gets to be too dirty, it can prevent enough air from moving. This will be noticed by the mass airflow sensor. That is a sensor that helps to balance out the ratio of fuel and air. Filters should be replaced on a regular basis to make sure the car burns the proper amount of gas.
As you can see, the check engine light often connects to a very minor problem. You always need to check these things off of the list if it comes on.